Clearing After Rain



"At my age . . . what is there left to

 confront but the great simplicities?"

       -  Stanley Kunitz




A warm and sunny late May day, endless cloudless sky,

Unexpected and somehow unsettling, knowing it can't last,

And he thinks white peonies leaning against the cedar fence,

Acorns and black walnuts, blackberries, apples trees and plum;

And the way the sun always settled first in one far corner

Of the pasture, and the late years then of grass giving over

To creeping thistle and goose grass, yarrow and ragweed

And blue-flowering vetch, taking back the worn paths

The horses had made, the one path the sun made then

Grazing the white tops of clover toward the faded barn,

Painting it a deep red again, glistering on the tin roof.


 He is long and far from there now but saw it clearly,  

What had been, what it may be now, how absence had 

Grown in his remembering. then diminished in its distance. 

It occurs to him now that almost without knowing he has 

Come to consider instead the generality of common names  

For the commonplace, how they need no more definition than  

Grass, trees, fruit, wildflowers, fields along nameless roads, 

The things freely given now wherever he is; and he thinks 

It is the details that never endure; and how, in the end, 

Memories will not take him back but only farther away.





Poetry by countryfog
Read 536 times
Written on 2015-05-26 at 15:06

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
An interesting notion, gracefully expressed.

Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
An interesting notion, gracefully expressed.

What an awesome poem! Lacks passion but more than takes up for it with serenity. Bravo.

Jamsbo Rockda The PoetBay support member heart!
Do memories take us farther away? Perhaps they distort and change but the feeling remains. Very beautiful to read.

A thoroughly enjoyable read, my friend :-)
I love the descriptions in the first verse, starting with the brilliance of the white peonies enhanced by the cedar fence. The nuts and fruit are pleasant to contemplate too; and I enjoy following the patterns of the sun and growing weeds over paths in my mind. Then the second verse is very intriguing for its slightly Platonic note in generals and particulars and for that final realisation. Applause!

I love your simplicities, it makes me look at my own, I must take the time. I like the word "glistering."